Title: Pas de Deux
Part 1: Entrée, Part 2: Adagio Part 3: Solo Dancer – Rodney, Part 4: Solo Dancer – John, Part 5: Coda
Rating: (PG-13, maybe R for language)
Category: (Gen – Slash – Hurt/Comfort – Team – First Time)
Spoilers: (Season 3 – Up to Sunday)
Betas: thepouncer lavvyan nora_charles
Summary: If you had a gnat’s eyelash of information, the SGC wanted a report on it.
Coda – Conclusion
"Over here!" Ronon called. He studied a Genii soldier with bound hands and feet, bent to feel for a pulse, and started when the soldier flinched at his touch.
Lorne arrived first, followed by Teyla and the other Marines. "He's alive," Ronon said.
"Well, at least we know we're headed in the right direction," one of the Marines said.
Major Lorne stepped away. "Let's move out, then."
"Major, you are not going to leave this man here like this?" Teyla asked.
Lorne turned and regarded her with resolve.
"Can we not at least make him more
Considering it, Lorne turned to one of the Marines. "Sergeant, untie him and give him a canteen."
They watched as the Sergeant cut through the ropes at the man's ankles then helped him up before freeing his hands. The man looked in no condition to flee, still another Marine stood guard.
Ronon regarded Lorne with a quirked eyebrow.
"Ronon, we could not just leave him here to die," said Teyla.
Lorne and Ronon exchanged glances.
"Besides," Teyla said, "perhaps he will be grateful enough to exchange food for information?"
Ronon watched as Lorne went over to the captive, bent down and spoke to him. After a few moments, Major Lorne took something from his pack and put it in the man's hands.
"Well?" Ronon asked when Lorne returned.
"Kolya's only got three or four more men. They're armed, but this should be a cakewalk."
"What are we going to do with him?" Teyla asked pointing in the man's direction.
"I've instructed the Sergeant to escort him back to the gate. The guy's a mess, he won't be any trouble. Lorne signaled for the rest of them to move out.
John lay on his stomach on a mound of dirt, hidden by foliage. He scanned the L-shaped building in front of him with his field glasses. Two armed men stood guard at the door in front.
The building was constructed of the same materials as the shacks. The metal roof long ago rusted. The wood aged and weathered – practically bleached of all color by the sun. Unlike the shacks, there were several windows on the long side of the building.
The handheld scanner showed two dots at the front and three other dots inside. One of the dots was at the end of the long side of the building. Kolya.
John crept along the edge of the clearing until he was out of sight of the guards, then sprinted for the building and flattened himself against it. The windows were low enough to climb through and the one to Sheppard's left was open. He listened. Hearing nothing, he eased closer and peered inside.
The floor was dirt just like the shack. Several bale-like bundles were scattered over the floor, dried plants and leaves. Probably waiting to be claimed by their rightful owners at the appropriate time. In the upper left corner was one doorway – no door – just a frame.
John climbed inside, and went to the door, his Beretta drawn. The long hall outside the room was dim - good. He heard voices were coming from his left –the long wing of the building.
John glanced at the main door, Just checking. He then made his way down the hallway. He'd almost reached the end when he suddenly heard the dull sound of footsteps on the dirt, coming his way. John tried to melt into the wall, hoping the lack of light would at least give him a few second's advantage. One of Kolya's men rounded the corner into the long hallway and stopped dead upon seeing Sheppard.
"Pyrel, is that you? Aren't you supposed to be—?"
Too late. John had but a split second to act. Knowing he could not afford to alert the guards at the door, John slipped his knife from its sheath and rushed the man in front of him before he could draw his weapon. It was over quickly. One thrust, quick and sure. He lowered the soldier down to the floor, and pulled him over against the wall. John wiped his blade clean on the soldier's uniform.
The soldier wouldn't be too hard to spot if the guards checked. John knew he didn't have much time; he had to get this done before the body was found.
John cleared the few remaining steps down the hallway and crept around the corner. There was a door.
He checked his lifesigns detector before entering the room. Two dots. One dead center of the room and the other at the far end. He could hear the front doors closing and heavy footfall coming from that direction. He'd hoped for more time.
He entered the room sweeping his sidearm in front of him. It was almost identical to the other room, with more of the plant bundles scattered around the dirt floor.
Fortunately, this room did have a door – two of them, in fact. One slid on a rope and pulley system. John looked first to the figure kneeling in the middle of the room - another of Kolya's men? This one had his hands tied behind his back and a gag covering his mouth. Bait, John thought. He slid the heavy door closed and wrapped the rope several times around a metal post nearby.
There was another doorway to John's right. He sidestepped over to the man and felt for his pulse. It was weak. He was barely conscious.
The guards were already at the sliding door. The rope fell away from the post and seconds later the door opened and two more of Kolya's men rushed inside. John ducked behind one of the bales,knowing it was a matter of seconds before they spotted him. John's legs were lifting him up from behind the bale when he froze.
"Leave him." It was Kolya's voice.
The pit of John's stomach burned like acid. It was true. Kolya was alive.
"Return to your posts. I'm sure Colonel Sheppard's friends are right behind him. And take this one with you. Now!" Kolya's voice boomed across the room. John heard the guards drag the other man from the room, but Kolya didn't move.
When John heard the door close, he slowly stood to face his enemy.
Teyla and the others made their way through the canopy, the ground soft and quiet beneath their feet. While their footing wasn't bad, they were still plagued with creepers and low hanging vines that sometimes hid snakes. Teyla flinched each time a vine caught on her hair or brushed against her. She had to concentrate and remain aware of everything that could be a threat.
She, too, had been deeply affected by what had been done to Rodney. There were times when he tried her patience, but Teyla had
John gripped his weapon with both hands and aimed at Kolya's heart.
“You know, Kolya, the least you could do is have the decency to stay dead when somebody kills you.”
It had only been three or four months since John had killed Kolya the first time – in a freakin' shootout. Pegasus' own version of High Noon! Yet Kolya seemed much older; his hair was longer, his uniform was shabbier, the skin around his eyes and cheeks was sunken and hollow. One thing had not changed – his face still looked like a hundred miles of bad road. Kolya's eyes were devoid of any emotion save hatred.
"Colonel Sheppard, I can't tell you how nice it is to see you again," Kolya said.
"And alone?" Kolya said, his own gun raised. "No Ancient shields? No soldiers? No friends here to help? Well, at least one less friend – I take it Dr. McKay has been returned to Atlantis?
John never was much for chit-chat. "Cut the crap, Kolya."
Kolya strode into the room, his gun never wavering. "But you disappoint me, Colonel; I rather thought you were beginning to enjoy the game as much as me.” Kolya's voice would always remind John of jeep tires over gravel.
“Not a chance, Kolya. I should have killed you back on Dagan.”
“Yes, you should have. I told you as much. I wonder if you know why you didn’t, Colonel? Shall I tell you?”
“I'm all ears,” Sheppard said as he backed away from the bale.
“Your weakness, Colonel. Not for me, of course, but for your friends, your
“Yeah? You got any more brilliant insights there, Kolya? 'Cause it seems to me I’ve always gotten the best of you -- except for that not staying dead thing.”
Kolya’s laugh ran like icewater down John's back. “I do know you, Colonel. For example, I see I was correct in my choice of bait. You have always been too eager to protect Dr. McKay.”
John felt bile rise in his throat and he swallowed it down hard. “If you know me so well, then you’d know I’d
“Yeah, well, enough of this."
“Don't you want to catch up? You're not curious why I didn’t stay on that street where you left me?”
The two stood facing the other.
"Well," Kolya intoned, "this seems vaguely familiar. How about we try something new?"
Kolya lowered his weapon. John's eyes widened and he tightened his grip on his 9mm. To John's utter disbelief, Kolya smiled and tossed his gun across the room. John heard it hit the dirt with a thud.
"Kolya?" John said warily.
"I'll give you one chance to retrieve your weapon," John said as he inched his way in the direction of the discarded gun.
"And if I don't take your offer, Colonel?"
"Then I will shoot you." John tried desperately to keep his voice calm. He had no idea what Kolya was up to.
"I have no problem with killing you."
"Colonel, if that were true, you would have shot me the moment I tossed my weapon away."
John stared at Kolya. Kolya was trying to fuck with his mind. John raised his Beretta just a bit.
"If, as you say, you truly have no problem killing me, Sheppard, then might I suggest you do so in a manner befitting your friends' expectations of you?
"Fight me as a man – be a hero – claim your spoils. It doesn't take much skill or bravery to pull a trigger, now does it?" Kolya asked.
"I didn't hear you
"What's on your mind, Kolya?"
"May I?" Kolya pointed to his jacket.
Sheppard nodded, alert for any double cross.
Kolya reached around to his left side and unsheathed the knife on his belt. A nine inch curved blade that shone in the light from the window behind Kolya. The sunlight glinted off the golden hilt. John's eyes grew wide. Holy shit, the crazy bastard wanted to fight him hand to hand.
"What do you say, Sheppard?"
John scrunched up his face and licked his lips. He hadn't fought hand to hand – not for real, not like this -- in a damn long time. The closest he'd
"How do I know you don’t have other weapons?" John asked.
He watched Kolya unbutton the heavy jacket. John never could figure out the Genii's wool fetish. Kolya let the jacket fall to the floor.
John's reflexes were jumpy; every nerve ending in his body tingled. Kolya raised his hands and turned so that Sheppard could see his back - nothing. Kolya kicked the jacket into the corner of the room and once again turned to face John.
"You are trying my patience, Sheppard." Kolya no longer sounded amused.
John could feel the sweat bead over his brow. His left hand groped for the handle of his knife and pulled it from its sheath.
John could just hear Rodney telling this tale to everyone back in Atlantis – and then, you won't believe this, and then the crazy son of bitch threw down his gun.
Screw that, John thought. He didn't need to go mano-a-mano with Kolya to know which one of them was the better leader. John had Atlantis. John had his team.
What did Kolya have? A hut in the middle of nowhere.
John raised his gun once more.
John blinked sweat from his eyes. He suddenly had a flash of Rodney slumped on the floor of the shack. Rodney had tried to protect John. Rodney had told John his biggest advantage was knowing Kolya – knowing himself. Did Kolya indeed know John better? Is this what Kolya wanted all along – to show John he was a killer, just like Kolya?
Well screw that, too. Rodney's words were all John needed to straighten his back, steel his resolve and give him the determination to step forward.
John snorted and tossed his gun in the same direction as Kolya's. It landed with a thud and a chink of metal on metal. Quickly, he switched the knife to his right hand.
Kolya's lip quirked up. For a moment John thought he actually saw a twinkle in Kolya's eye.
"You may be a worthy adversary, Sheppard, but you will always fall short of those like me because of your weakness." Kolya said as he took a few steps to the center of the room.
"Well – we'll just see about that, Kolya." Great
John took a step forward.
They slowly circled one another, watching, learning each other's rhythm. John locked his eyes with Kolya's, every sense heightened, waiting for the flinch that would signal attack. Every inflection, every blink, every twitch – John noted and memorized even the tiniest flinch of muscle. It was survival choreography.
Kolya stepped in and thrust his knife forward. John parried Kolya's move, dodging the blade. Kolya continued to advance and John's mind spun trying to remember all the defensive moves Teyla and Ronon had shown him. Block and dodge and counter – yes. Kolya's knife never reached John's skin.
Smelling an opening, John slashed wildly at Kolya’s midsection. Kolya staggered back and swiped his hand over his stomach. John was grateful for the second’s recovery time, breathing deep. Kolya smiled at him. John’s blade had done no more than slice through the cloth of Kolya’s shirt, but even that John had managed to get a blade on him must have made Kolya angry. He charged forward.
John’s hands went up instinctively to keep Kolya at bay. John locked arms with Kolya, pushing against his attempts to get close. John’s arms burned with the effort. He knew one second of weakness would allow Kolya to strike. John would hold him off no matter how long it took.
And it was taking forever.
Kolya’s muscles began to tremble under John's hands. If he could just stick it out until Kolya weakened, John might have a chance -- a chance to push Kolya off, a chance at another second’s respite. Kolya looked determined. He would not make it easy.
Kolya pushed hard, collapsing John’s defense arm. It took John a few seconds to realize the white hot sensation under his ribs was the tip of Kolya’s knife. Luckily, it had just grazed John's skin.
The trek through the jungle seemed endless. The heat sapped Teyla's strength. Finally, up ahead, Major Lorne signaled for them to stop. Through the vines and fronds she could see weathered boards.
The building was larger than the shack where Rodney had been held. Lorne instructed the Marines to move out in teams of two to check out the building.
Teyla watched as the Marines made their way into position. One pair entered the first window on the side of the building. One of them gave the "OK" sign to Lorne. Leaving the vines and moss behind, she followed the Major and Ronon to the side of the building.
Before John could counter, Kolya’s cold hand closed around his throat. John grabbed Kolya's knife hand and locked it as far away from him as he could get. Kolya's eyes burned with a kind of madness. Kolya's hand at John's throat closed tighter. John's chest grew heavy. Straining, gasping, John managed to reach up and slash the outside of Kolya’s wrist. Howling in pain, Koyla pushed John away.
John staggered backwards. His empty lungs forced him to bend forward. John tried to keep his head up, tried to keep his eyes on Kolya, tried to keep his balance. His chest heaved. John took another step backwards. He was falling. His boot had caught the edge of one of the plant bales. It seemed to take minutes to finally hit the ground. John felt his knife slip from his hand – heard it hit the dirt with a dull thud.
Before he could blink an eye, Kolya hauled John up and spun him around. Kolya's left arm lay across John's heaving chest, Kolya's blade cold and severe against John’s throat. John's heart pounded. He anticipated the blade, but it did not
Lorne and Ronon and Teyla made it inside without being detected, and spread out to search. Teyla and Ronon slipped down a long hallway, and around a corner, when Teyla heard something. Voices.
"Imagine Dr. Weir's surprise, Colonel, when I return to Atlantis, with your men, with your team. I intend to use the city's every resource to reclaim what it rightfully mine."
Crouched in the hallway, Teyla closed her eyes to make out what was being said: "With Dr. McKay's assistance I will restore the Genii to a position of supremacy in the galaxy. Our technological and military advancement will be second to none. Too bad the two of you never got a chance to say your good-byes."
That was Kolya. And Sheppard was with him.
The arm across Sheppard's chest tensed and tightened. The blood hammering in John’s ears was deafening. He tried to think of anything he could do to gain more time. John did know Kolya. Kolya's ego would demand more posturing, it would have to.
John thrust his booted foot backwards with all the force he could muster. He prayed it would connect. Kolya staggered back, loosening his grip just enough for John to escape his grasp and dive forward for his knife.
Ronon had heard the voices too, and he and Teyla rushed to the entrance to the room. Sheppard was on the floor, Kolya on top of him. A knife was at Sheppard's throat.
Out of the corner of her eye, Teyla saw Ronon reaching for his gun, but before he could fire, Sheppard pushed Kolya off him. John stabbed his hand forward, and buried his own knife in Kolya's chest.
Kolya slid forward --staring at John.
Koyla slumped. After what seemed a lifetime later, he fell forward. His knife hand crashed to the ground -- the blade knocked loose on impact. John stepped over to kick it out of the way and staggered. Blood had splattered his face and ran down his temples. He winced and grabbed for his ribs.
Teyla saw Ronon release his gun. She called out, "John."
John turned to them.
“You’ve learned a few things,” Ronan said.
“Yeah, well.” John panted, “a little help -- might have been -- good. How long--?”
“We-- just now,” Teyla said.
John looked at them both, a little wary, “But you would have--? I mean, if I’d--?”
“Absolutely," Ronon said, and Teyla nodded her agreement.
John took several deep breaths, trying to get his breathing back to normal. He picked up Kolya’s knife and handed it to Ronan.
"You are hurt, John," Teyla said. Droplets of blood from Sheppard's black shirt threw up dust as they hit the ground. "Let us help you."
Ronon tore the hem of his own shirt and handed Sheppard the bundle of cloth. "Just give me a minute." Sheppard smiled and clutched the bundle to his stomach.
He walked over to Kolya and toed the body over. Cautiously, Sheppard kneeled down to feel for a pulse. He sat back with a relieved sigh. Kolya was dead, finally.
“Everybody else okay?” Sheppard asked, still staring at the body.
“Yeah." Ronon answered. "Lorne's got the Marines securing the building.”
Without a word, Sheppard pulled his knife from the lifeless body.
“Good," John said. "Let’s get the hell out of here.”
Ronon helped John from the building, Teyla followed behind, watchful for any more of Kolya's men. They passed one of the Marines standing guard over three men who looked exhausted, starved and afraid. Relief spread across Lorne's face when he saw John and Ronon and Teyla approaching.
Before John could make a pithy remark about the cavalry arriving just in time, they were all cast in a huge shadow.
A jumper hovered over the end of the building blocking out the sun. Seconds later, the sound of cracking lumber and wrenched metal split the air. As soon as the jumper landed, the rear hatch door lowered to the ground. Rodney and Corporal LeClaire bounded toward them.
John beamed at Rodney, who was staring, horror-stricken, at John’s bloody face and the blood seeping through fingers clutching at his stomach. Rodney wrapped his arm around John’s waist to help Ronon walk him to the jumper.
"Good timing, McKay," said Ronon.
"Oh, well when Sergeant Bell got back to the gate with the guy Sheppard tied up, he said they still hadn't caught up with Sheppard," Rodney explained. "So, we started checking in with the Marines on the radio. Once we found out it was really Kolya, I couldn't wait any longer. I grabbed the Corporal here and just followed the HUD."
"Rodney? Who flew the jumper?" John asked.
"Um, I did." Rodney replied.
John turned to Rodney. “Funny, I was supposed to rescue you.” John felt a little woozy. John was so relieved to see them he could hardly work up any anger at Rodney for leaving the stargate.
John smiled. "I guess we needed you after all."
“Don’t worry, John, I’ll have you back in Atlantis in no time.”
“Lorne’s flying the jumper back, Rodney,” John said flatly. “Lorne!”
The Major sprinted ahead into the jumper.
Rodney looked at John, sulking. John tried to smile, tried to say thank you, but Rodney was going out of focus. Suddenly, thousands of tiny white stars swam before John’s eyes.
It had taken all the tact and diplomacy John had gleaned from
John walked the hallways musing over everything that had happened on the planet.
When John found himself outside Rodney’s quarters instead of his own, he tried to tell himself he just hadn't been paying attention, but he knew better.
Rodney looked surprised when the door opened. “Hey.”
“Hey,” John said.
“Yeah, I kinda talked him into it.” John stood there, just inside the now-closed door. The edges of a bandage peeked out from his shirt and his left arm was in a sling. He could have been nine years old again.
“You should be in the infirmary,” Rodney said. He looked concerned.
“Nah, I’m okay. What about you – you all right?”
“Oh, fine, fine. I was, uh, just working on my report,” Rodney said jerking his thumb over his shoulder. “May as well get it over with," he said nodding.
“Hmm.” John nodded. He couldn't stop looking at Rodney, who suddenly found the floor very interesting.
The sound of their breathing noisily filled the room. John thought Rodney was still wheezing a little.
"Rodney, I—" they both said at once. Rodney looked away.
"Rodney, I just froze," John began.
“Well, that’s, um, perfectly understandable,” Rodney replied, “I mean it’s not every day you have to kill an arch enemy for the second time. I’m sure it was quite a—"
John took a step closer. “No, Rodney, with you, last night.” Had it just been last night – it felt like ages ago.
Rodney lowered his eyes again. "Oh."
“I just wanted to say--. Well, if you ever wanted to try that again, I think I could promise you a different reaction. You know, if you wanted to.” And dear God, now John felt nine years old.
“Really?” Rodney looked up.
John nodded and tried to work up his best sultry expression. This time it was Rodney who stepped closer.
Her concentration was broken by the sound of loud, melodious whistling in the hallway. Colonel Sheppard entered her office and took his usual seat – half his ass parked on her desk top. He was grinning and she found herself staring.
She set down her stylus and rested her elbows on her desk, lacing her fingers together beneath her chin.
“My, you’re awfully… chipper this morning.”
“What about the Genii soldiers?” John asked, still smiling.
“I’ve been in contact with Ladon. He was very happy to hear about Kolya and he says he's willing to let the men return. That's being arranged as we speak.”
“Good!” John exclaimed and slid his ass off her desk.
“I have to say, John, I expected you to be a little more… sedate about all of this.” She eyed him warily.
John shrugged. He turned and sauntered out of the office.
A happy ending indeed.